Over the years, and especially in my academic studies, I’ve been able to read many books and resources on how to do evangelism. A common thread in all of them is getting the conversation to spiritual issues. Some offered ways, but often I was left asking, “So, how do you do that?”
Quite a few of the resources over-complicated the process. Often, the authors recommended listening for clues, relating to the individual, and transitioning the conversation to spirituality by thinking of ways of how God relates to the topic.
Sounds complicated, right?
Well, sometimes academicians can make what should be simple to be very complicated (being that I have a doctorate, I must include myself in this).
Moving a conversation to spiritual matters doesn’t have to be difficult. Instead, if you stop and think for a moment, there is an easy way to transition a conversation to spiritual matters. Below are two ways to start an evangelistic conversation with almost anyone.
Starting an Evangelistic Conversation with a Stranger
Turning a conversation with a stranger into an evangelistic conversation is so simple that it’s boggling that I’ve not seen everyone mention it.
Are you ready to have your mind blown? Here’s the strategy:
Ask the person if they go to church anywhere.
That’s it. This question is unobtrusive, casual, and is not offensive. Not only have you asked a simple “small talk” question, you’ve also opened the door to a spiritual conversation. From there, a conversation about Jesus is easy!
If the person does attend church, say, “Great! So, how did you come to know Jesus as Savior?” or something similar. Guess what! You’re now into an evangelistic conversation.
If the person does not attend church, invite them to yours. Also, you can inquire about the person’s spiritual beliefs. If there is an open door to evangelism, then you’ll know immediately because they will not quickly shut down the conversation. From there, you can begin to talk about beliefs and share Jesus with the person.
So, as you can see, starting an evangelistic conversation with a stranger need not be difficult, but can be as simple as asking one innocent question. However, what about people you already know?
Starting an Evangelistic Conversation with Friends, Family, or Others You Know
As with strangers, starting an evangelistic conversation with someone you already know is also very simple (though I’m sure there are plenty of books and online articles that will overcomplicate the process).
For the sake of brevity, I’ll be talking about people you don’t already know are saved.
There are three sub-categories within the group of people you know: those who do go to church, those who might go to church (you just don’t know), and those who don’t go to church.
Friends and family who do attend church
In many cases you’ll already know if the person goes to church – they might even go to your church. However, going to church doesn’t make someone a Christian any more than going to an aquarium makes them a fish.
If you know the person is already going to church, starting an evangelistic conversation only requires a simple as one question:
Ask them how their walk with Jesus is going.
You can ask about their church activity, but again, church activity does not equal spiritual salvation. If you ask about the progress of their spiritual walk then you’ll be able to tell if the person is saved, or just a church-goer. It also opens the door to talking about the gospel.
Friends and family who might or might not attend church (you just don’t know which)
While we may know many who go to church, we likely have friends whom we don’t know if they go to church. Starting an evangelistic conversation with them is the same as doing so with a stranger:
Ask them if they go to church anywhere.
Yep, it’s that simple. Not only will you discover whether or not they go to church, this opens the door do spiritual conversations.
Friends and family who do not go to church anywhere
Starting a conversation with someone you know is not going to church, as with all the others, is as simple as a single question:
Ask them if they’ve thought about going to church lately.
It’s that simple. If they are going, great! Ask them about their spiritual journey with Jesus, or better, ask how they got saved. If they haven’t thought about going to church, or are opposed to it, then you can ask about their spiritual beliefs regardless of church.
Voilà! Simple ways to start an evangelistic conversation with just about anyone. Asking a simple, innocent question will introduce spiritual things and can lead to a conversation about the gospel of Jesus.